Hello! My name is Shanthi Robertson, I’m a sociologist and Senior Research Fellow in Migration and Globalisation at the Institute for Culture and Society at Western Sydney University. You can contact me via email or on Twitter.

My research centres on social and cultural transformations in a mobile world, with a focus on people who move transnationally for various economic, social and lifestyle reasons, and how their mobilities change both their lives and the places that they come from and move to.

My early work, including my award-winning book, Transnational Student-Migrants and the State: The Education-Migration Nexus, focused on transnational student-migrants, who use student visas to access educational and migration opportunities. My current work focuses on varied transnational mobilities into and out of Australia, including students, working holiday makers, temporary workers, permanent settlers, family migrants and investors, and is especially interested in the crossovers and links between these different groups.

My recently completed project, Staggered Pathways: Temporality, Mobility and Asian Temporary Migrants to Australia explored the pathways over time of young 21st century Asian migrants who first arrived in Australia on temporary visas. You can see an overview of the project findings and some visualisations of migrant journeys on the Staggered Pathways project website.

My current major project, Youth Mobilities, Aspirations and Pathways (YMAP) focuses on the transnational mobility of young people aged between 18 and 30 both into and out of Australia, and what happens in the long-term to careers, social and family lives and sense of belonging when young adults are ‘on the move’. I’m also interested in how increasing ‘cultural complexity’ and ‘super diversity’ within our communities are changing the way we think and work in spaces such as education, health and urban planning.

I’ve secured two nationally competitive Australian Research Council grants for the above projects and completed research partnerships with local government and non-government sectors. I’m a regular media commentator on migration and cultural diversity issues, and I’ve provided expert consultation to the federal government on citizenship policy. I also currently serve on the Executive Committee of the Australian Sociological Association (TASA), the national professional association for Australian sociology, and as Program Leader for the Diversity and Globalisation Research Program at the Institute for Culture and Society.



RMIT University

Melbourne: Graduate Certificate Tertiary Teaching and Learning

2005 - 2009

RMIT University

Melbourne: PhD (International Studies)

1999 - 2003

University of Western Australia, Perth:

Bachelor of Arts

(Hons, European Studies)

Major Awards and Fellowships

2015 - 2018

Discovery Early Career Researcher Award (DECRA)
Australian Research Council


Visiting Senior Research Fellowship
Asia Research Institute (ARI)
National University of Singapore


Raewyn Connell Prize for the best first book by an author in Australian Sociology
The Australian Sociological Association


University-Level Teaching Excellence Award: Early Career Academic
RMIT University


Research Leave Award


School-Level Teaching Excellence Recognition Award


Australian Postgraduate Award (PhD Scholarship)

Scroll to top